Creative Commons FAQs

Expand all / Collapse all

Is the Creative Commons Licence legal in Australia?

Yes. The Creative Commons Licence was made compatible with Australian copyright law in 2005. It is also compatible with similar Creative Commons Licences in many other countries.

Does the Creative Commons Licence cost anything? Is there a yearly fee?

No. The Creative Commons Licence is free. All you have to do is advise the Bureau of Meteorology that you would like to apply the Creative Commons Licence to your water information.

What if I don't wish to use the Creative Commons Licence and the Bureau of Meteorology publishes my water information?

The Bureau is required by law to publish your water information. If you choose not to use the Creative Commons Licence, the Bureau will still attribute your organisation as the source of the information. It will also provide your organisation's contact details so that the community may enquire with your organisation about the terms and conditions under which they may use the information.

How will the Bureau attribute my organisation?

The Bureau of Meteorology wants to ensure that water information suppliers receive correct attribution for their information. The Bureau's Australian Water Resources Information System (AWRIS) is being designed to correctly capture and publish attribution details of organisations providing water information. It will also say whether an organisation has agreed to license their information under the Creative Commons Licence.

If your organisation wishes to apply the Creative Commons Licence to its information, you must advise the Bureau of how you would like the information to be attributed. For example: © State of Queensland (Department of Environment and Resource Management). The Bureau will ensure that your organisation's water information is correctly and prominently associated with the Creative Commons Licence on the website.

There are other Creative Commons licences. Why has the Bureau of Meteorology only endorsed the Creative Commons Attribution Australia Licence?

Six Creative Commons Australia licences are currently compatible with Australian copyright law. However, each of the remaining licences, to some extent, restricts the reuse of information. The Bureau has determined that the Creative Commons Attribution Australia Licence meets the desired policy objectives of the Water Act 2007.

The Bureau of Meteorology has a restrictive copyright statement covering the majority of its website, why has it chosen to use a Creative Commons licence for water information only?

The Bureau of Meteorology has endorsed the Creative Commons Licence for use with water information because it permits the broadest reuse of water information, which meets the policy objectives of the Water Act 2007. The Bureau is currently reviewing its copyright statement covering other information on its website.

Why can't the Bureau of Meteorology just license my information under Creative Commons?

The Creative Commons Licence operates on the basis that your organisation's copyright exists in your organisation's water information. The Water Act 2007 provides that ownership of property rights (such as copyright) in the water information sector remains with the supplier. Therefore, only your organisation can apply, or notify the Bureau of its desire to apply, the Creative Commons Licence to its water information.

Who else uses Creative Commons?

Creative Commons licences are widely used across the Internet by individuals, companies and governments. For example, Wikipedia and Flickr both use Creative Commons Licences. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has licensed the majority of the information on its website under the Creative Commons Licence. Geoscience Australia has licensed numerous datasets, including its Australian Mines Atlas and MODIS data, under the Creative Commons Licence.

Who can I contact if I have further questions about the use of the Creative Commons licence for my water information?

The Bureau of Meteorology has endorsed a Recommended Practice Report on the Licensing of Water Information (PDF - 1.2Mb). If you have further questions about Creative Commons and its application to water information, please send an email to waterdatasupport@bom.gov.au.


Creative Commons By Attribution logo
Unless otherwise noted, all material on this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Australia Licence